This has been a tough week for Holly and I because of our 3rd cat Monkey. We noticed that he had been losing weight and we thought that was great because we’ve been trying to slim all of our cats down. However, in Monkey’s case, we found that he lost too much weight too fast. None of the other cats appeared to have lost more than a pound over the last few months, but Monkey appeared to have lost more than 5. We were obviously concerned, so we took Monkey to the vet on Wednesday to have him checked out.
My wife Holly has a very soft heart for people, animals and even plants, so Monkey’s condition already had her worried and on the verge of tears. The vet did some blood work, but scheduled an ultrasound for the next day. The doctor’s initial prognosis was that Monkey could be dealing with something called Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, otherwise known as Fatty Liver Disease. However, there could also be cancer in his liver as well, so the ultrasound and maybe even a biopsy might tell us more. In the meantime, they gave him an appetite stimulant and injected fluid under his skin to make sure he was hydrated.
I learned of all this from a phone call after Holly visited the vet. Throughout the call, Holly was sobbing and having a hard time getting the words out. To make matters worse, she was on her way to work. She had some big deadlines that had to be met and she couldn’t be out from the office. Since the fluid procedure would take at least half an hour, she asked if I would pick Monkey up from the vet. It tore me up to hear Holly so upset and to know that there was nothing I could do about it to make her feel better. After Holly came home and even up until the visit to the vet the next day, Holly beat herself up about being a bad mom. It’s human nature to do this, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The next day at the vet’s office, Monkey had an ultrasound and the vet said that everything looked good. His liver did not have cancer. They didn’t take a biopsy because of some bruising from the fluid injections the day before. That was ok, because neither Holly or I are big on biopsies, they often cause more problems than they solve. The vet wasn’t 100% sure that Monkey had Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, but that’s what everything appeared to be pointing at, so that’s what he wanted to treat.
Here’s what we’ve been doing for the past couple of days:
1. 30 minutes prior to feeding, I give Monkey an appetite stimulant, which consists of half of a pill as well as 1/8 of a Pepcid AD pill.
2. Three times a day, I feed Monkey 30cc’s of baby food from a large syringe. I should say force feed because he doesn’t want to eat the food. It’s not fun, but it has to be done in order to get his liver to snap out of the condition it’s in.
In addition, we’ve been spending a lot of time with him. Gracie has been in her crate a lot and we’ve been sleeping in the guest bedroom with Monkey alone. He has to be our priority right now, so we’re giving him all the time and attention we can.
On Monday we go back to the vet to do some more blood work. That will tell us how his liver is responding to the home treatment. If it’s not, then we’ll either have to install a feeding tube into his stomach, or we will have to let the vet administer treatment there at the clinic. As it stands, we’re hopeful that what we’re doing will work. Luckily, this is not a typically fatal disease and Monkey should bounce back from this just fine. If he does, he can get as fat as he wants. 🙂